Yoga has been growing rapidly in popularity over the past decade. People all over the world have begun to implement this ancient practice in their lives to gain the many benefits that come with it. Chances are you have probably encountered at least one person in your life who swears by the practice and has tried to tell you why you should too. There are many different variations of yoga that serve different people with different goals in mind. No matter what your goals are, you can benefit in some way from having your own yoga practice. From increased strength and flexibility, to a calmer and more concentrated mental state, the list of why you should practice yoga is endless.
Yoga translates directly to union, and is a practice that unites the mind, body and spirit through a series of physical postures linked to breath which creates a meditation in motion. Yoga is an incredibly powerful way to increase feelings of peace and contentment. This practice is designed to direct the entire awareness of the practitioner into the present moment, focusing solely on the breath and the bodily sensations that arise while flowing through the postures. This type of present moment awareness is considered to be a kind of meditation, which helps concentrate and clear the mind, helping facilitate a calmer and more peaceful mental state. Movement alone has been said to benefit the mental well-being of those who do it regularly. When movement is combined with deep continuous breath and present moment awareness, or yoga, it creates the ultimate way to elevate your mind, body and spirit.
In addition to the mental and emotional benefits that yoga can have, it also is highly beneficial for the physical body. Yoga asana consists of postures that promote both strength and flexibility in the body. Yoga consists of a series of these physical postures and depending on what type of yoga you are practicing, the series may be more focused on strength or gentle movements that improve flexibility and mobility. Either way, these postures nourish the body safely and gently, helping prevent injury, strain, and maintaining mobility as we age.
Yoga helps create space in both the mind and the body, which are intricately connected. When there is contraction or stress in one, there is likely the same in the other. Yoga helps us to connect these parts of ourselves and work to create union and harmony between the mind, body and spirit. Yoga helps us connect intimately to our bodies through our deep awareness as we move. When we are connected to our bodies and the feedback they are giving us, we are better able to meet our needs and tend to our mental and emotional landscape. Yoga is a beautiful tool to help us understand and connect with ourselves deeper. It allows us to form a loving relationship with ourselves and our bodies and come home to our true essence and authenticity.